February 2002

$14.95 AU

104p pb

ISBN: 978-0747557494

fp September 2001

Love That Dog

Sharon Creech

from the book...


Room 105 - Miss Stretchberry

September 13

I don't want to

because boys

don't write poetry.

Girls do.

But before he knows it Jack is writing poetry, all sorts of wonderful poetry, and he is even enjoying it. And while he is writing about some very important feelings of his own, Jack is also reading other people's poems, as well as learning about all the wonderful things that poetry can do.

Fresh, enchanting and utterly original this is a wonderful book for children of all ages and simply defies definition.

If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A

A groovylicious book that is an absolute gem – it reminded me so much of how I used to feel when I was a kid. Like, when I was extremely happy I would talk exactly like Jack: “you had the best best best laugh”, “you had the best best best voice”… Now I look back on it, it was probably merely a lack of grammar… I still feel like talking like that nowadays – saying things like “besterest” instead of the best…making up words like “meaniemincompoop”… There is a child in all of us, and I found the poems SO, INCREDIBLY cute! They weren’t all heavy and “deep and meaningful” that required heaps of brain power, but childish with such an adorability…

And the feelings that Jack experienced – he didn’t want people to know he wrote the poems…he might get teased…but as soon as he hears that everybody likes them…! The author reveals himself without much reluctance! Kid’s emotions are so transparent…

It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, that reminded how fun it is to be a kid – the poems are SO dear!

Love that dog,

like a bird loves to fly

I said I love that dog

like a bird loves to fly

Love to call him in the morning

love to call him

“Hey there, Sky!”

Have you noticed kids always repeat things a million times, afraid people don’t hear their words? But people place no importance in what a child says, they don’t have much credibility… so children just HAVE to repeat themselves over, and over again! (I still do it)

I LOVED the poems

Nangel, age 15, Canberra, Australia

Love That Dog is a novel designed for all ages. The book is actually a small boy’s diary to the teacher, and at the back of the book are the poems that he talks about to his teacher. Although we are unsure of his age, his language seemed to be that of a  9 – 11yr old.

The boy, Jack, has recently found out he is a poet because of his teacher, and really starts getting into it. Soon into the story, he finally reads a poem written by his new favourite author, Walter Dean Myers. Jack writes a poem that was inspired by him, and asks if he can visit the school. As he becomes stronger at writing his poems, he finally tells his teacher about his dog, Skye, and turned Skye’s final incident into a poem.

Although the novel was quite sad in some parts, overall I enjoyed it and found it mostly happy and highly entertaining. The novel seems to be written by a nine-year-old, and it is very cute the way he acted in his journal. It was nice, for a change, to read about a young boy having fun in school instead of reading about suicide, sexuality, love, death, and other depressing stories that is often found in teenage fiction.

Overall, I would highly recommend it to anyone that wants to get that warm, happy feeling inside of them, thinking ‘Oh, what a cute book’. I enjoyed it, and I think anyone else who read it would have to agree.

Greg, Year 9, Canberra, Australia

Love That Dog, by Sharon Creech, is an inspiring tale about stereotypes, finding heroes and learning to live with the past.

Jack is one little boy who does not agree to ‘boys’ having to write girlish poetry. Yet a fateful chance meeting with one of Walter Dean Myers’ poems, changes all that ridicule. Jack is then sent spiraling into the world of a poet and finally comes to terms with the death of his much-loved dog. Through expressing his loss, mourning, and love for his loveable yellow dog, Jack finds his hero, Walter Dean Myers and learns the true meaning of poetry and what it does for you.

Love That Dog portrays well the subtle emotions of loss and mourning that Jack tries desperately not to express in his poems. It is one of the most original and interesting books that I have come across and appealed to me simply because of the subtle notions of Jack slowly being engulfed into the world of poetry, Walter Dean Myers and his beloved late yellow dog.

Neha, Year 9, Canberra, Australia

Love That Dog is a verse novel inspired by poems and a little boy’s feelings about his beloved dog Sky. Sky was a yellow dog that was impounded but it soon changed when the little boy and his father came to the pound and an instant connection was made between the little boy and the yellow dog. The little boy loved his dog so much that he wrote a poem about it:

An unfortunate event occurred when Sky was running across the road and was struck by a speeding car. The driver didn’t stop and left the poor dog for dead on the side of the road with a crying little boy and a heartbroken dad. At the start of the novel, the little boy describes his hate for poems and states that only girls write poems but as the novel progresses, he becomes fonder of poems and writes a couple of his own.

Love That Dog is fairly easy book to read and is directed at younger readers, aged 8 to 10, due to the easy vocabulary and simple plot. Love That Dog is a visually captivating novel with poems written in the shape of pictures and words like short, tall, big which are all written to describe the word and short poems are used within the novel to keep the reader focused and not bored by the ‘endless words on pages’ effect. Although the verse novel is aimed at younger people, I enjoyed Love That Dog and award it a:  3/5.

Fil, Year 10, Canberra, Australia

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech is the story of Jack, his dog, his teacher, and words. The story develops through Jack’s responses to his teacher, Miss Strechberry, over the course of a school year. At first, his responses are short and cranky: “I don’t want to” and “I tried. Can’t do it. Brain’s empty.” But as his teacher feeds him inspiration, Jack finds that he has a lot to say and he finds different ways to say it.

Jack is stubborn and warm-hearted, and he can be both serious and funny. Although he hates poetry at first, he begins to find poems that inspire and interest him. All year long, he is trying to find a way to talk about his beloved dog, Sky, and the poems his teacher offers him eventually give him a way to do that.

The words in Love That Dog are very simple and short, just like a child’s writings. In the book, the character Jack writes as though he is talking to you directly and this gives a sense of reality. Also the questions that Jack writes to you are so innocent and childlike.

I enjoyed reading Love That Dog very much and it’s a short and simple book so you can easily read it in your spare time. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a simple read that is sweet and innocent.

Yurika, Year 10, Canberra, Australia

Love That Dog is written by Sharon Creech and it about a boy called Jack. He loved his little yellow dog. The main characters are the yellow dog and Jack. This book is more like poem than a story. It seemed a little strange but I liked it. Most of poems are really good. It is best for people who like to read poetry. I liked the part when Jack got his yellow dog. He looked happy so I really liked it. This book has heaps of emotions; the poem I really liked was Love That Dog; I loved most of poems in the book.

Isaac, Year 8, Canberra, Australia

Back to verse novels list